How to Prevent Youth Violence

A violent person entices their neighbor and leads them down a path that is not good.
–Proverbs 16:39
Black and white photo of young woman crying
Photo Credit Pixabay
Every day youth die or are treated for injuries due to violence, and African American youth from underserved and dense populations are more at risk for violence than anyone else in the US. According to a report by the University of Chicago, homicide is the

  • #1 cause of death among African Americans aged 10-24
  • #2 cause of death among Hispanic Americans aged 10-24, and
  • #3 cause of death among Native Americans and Alaska Natives aged 10-24

Violence among youth is a real problem and today we’re going to explore how to prevent youth violence.

What is youth violence and what causes it?

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing. -- I Peter 3:9
But first, just what is violence?
Essentially violence is intentionally using force to threaten or harm others or their property. Violence can be physical, verbal, sexual, or emotional abuse. It includes intimidation and trying to force or pressure someone to do something.
The CDC says that aggressive behavior such as bullying, gang-related activity, threats with weapons, and fighting are all types of violence.

Several factors contribute to youth violence, such as

  • A history of being a victim of violence, racism, or any type of abuse
  • Harsh discipline from parents
  • Poor relationships with parents
  • Substance abuse in the home
  • Rejection by peers
  • Associating with delinquents
  • Living in violent or impoverished neighborhoods

Repeated or prolonged toxic stress can increase the risk of youth violence.

Toxic stress causes trauma and can affect brain development in young children.

Toxic stress can result from lack of food and medical care.

Any instability in the home like poverty or the neglect of not getting emotional or physical needs met can cause toxic stress.

When a child experiences traumatic events and negative attitudes from others, it creates critical thought processes within the child. These thoughts become internalized and dictate the way they view themselves and other people.
As these thoughts grow and fester, the child becomes paranoid and suspicious of others.

This negative frame of mind mixed with frustration can create explosive behavior.

Harmless actions of other people can be misconstrued and taken wrongly resulting in outbursts of anger and destructive behavior.

The child feels justified in his actions and thinks the other person deserves his aggressive behavior. Such attitudes are common in domestic violence situations.

So now that we’ve identified the causes of youth violence, what can we do about it?

How can we prevent youth violence?

If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.-- Genesis 4:7
Prevention and intervention strategies for youth violence include but are not limited to:
  • Youth intervention programs
  • Conflict resolution/problem-solving skills
  • Community engagement–provides teen mentoring and leadership programs.
  • Family dynamics–open conversations with parents and kids about violence and how it affects them, finding ways to support them, and reaching out to community-based programs to learn good parenting skills; parents learning how to have good relationships with their youth.
  • Substance abuse prevention
  • Role models–mentoring programs, after-school programs
  • Commitment to school–encouraging youth to stay in school.

Because domestic violence among youth so deeply affects society and communities, having strategies in place to combat the problem and help our youth is essential.

No More Dirty’s mission to end youth and domestic violence.

Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways. --Proverbs 3:31
Our mission is to provide solutions to problems such as youth and domestic violence through our different community initiatives. We offer solutions to urban problems through programs such as

  • CampSMART where we address social issues and inappropriate behavior.
  • Greatness Project featuring guest speakers addressing these issues.

Serving the underserved and disenfranchised in Huntsville-Madison County is at the heart of what we do, and all our programs are designed to be developmentally and culturally appropriate to the people we’re reaching.

We’re always looking for innovative ways to serve our community and from that desire we’re finding new opportunities to meet its needs.

We’re excited to announce our upcoming event and invite you to join us.

Announcing No More Dirty Summit Stop Gun and Domestic Violence Initiative with Q&A

NMD is hosting its 2nd annual No More Dirty Summit on Friday, September 29, 2023, at 7 PM at New Life Seventh Day Adventist Church located at 3912 Pulaski Pike NW, Huntsville, AL 35810.

The Summit's co-host is Patrice J, with keynote speaker, songwriter, icon, legend, R&B/hip-hop artist Chyna Whyte (Lil Jon & East Side Boyz).

Guest panelists include co-chair of The People’s Justice Counsel, Pastor Clifton J. McMillian and representatives from Huntsville Police Department; artists, The Gospel Man (former incarcerated dope boy), Colby Savage (former drug dealer), DJ Fanatic (former gang leader), "DB" (hip-hop artist, youth, and education advocate), and John Richard Kier (survivor of grief, mental health, and substance abuse).

Guest speakers will address challenges within our community and society. Attendees will gain a newfound sense of hope and the tools needed to discover their own greatness while avoiding the pitfalls of poverty, systemic ills, false narratives,
stereotypes, and misinformation.

They’ll learn the benefits of healthy living, how to thrive as productive citizens in diverse environments and cultures, and leave feeling purposeful and inspired to achieve their lifelong goals.

We hope you’ll join us for this uplifting, informative, and thought-provoking event.

For more information on our programs, initiatives, and ways you can be involved, visit us at